A Step Back

I've been watching this week's economic catastrophe with quite a bit of anxiety. I've worried about something like this happening for about seven months, ever since the Bear Stearns collapse. So, when I heard about the proposed seven BILLION dollar bailout, my first thought was that it was something that needed to be passed immediately. But then I began to slow down and think.

First, as I said, I've known we were in a serious economic crisis since mid-March. Why is this emergency bailout just now being presented? There's no way the administration's economic advisors didn't know more about what was coming than I did. Also, why is it being presented with such a short timetable for review and approval? One thing I learned in Contract Administration is that you should never negotiate from a position of fear.

The real kicker is the clause that gives unregulated power to the Treasury Department. The whole thing has started to remind me very much of how the Patriot Act got passed, and how the Iraq war got launched. Both events were pushed through in an atmosphere of panic, as "the greatest crisis ever to face our nation." I'm hearing that exact phrase from the lips of both Democrats and Republicans this week.

Finally, not to go too far out on a limb of conspiracy theories, but several months ago I was sitting around with some friends talking about the upcoming election. We were speculating that if the race started to shift in the Democrats' favor, the Republicans would manage to pull out another one of their distractions, and change the focus to their benefit. Some of my friends predicted that it would be something like an invasion of Iran. However, I predicted that it would be some kind of bogeyman, like the endless "terror threats" that went on leading up to the 2004 election.

I have no doubt that the "One Market Under God" philosophy has brought us to the brink of catastrophe. However, I also know that there is an established strategy called "Disaster Capitalism" that we must exercise extreme caution against. This administration has demonstrated several times in the past their ability to cry "Wolf" and get the nation to hand over anything they want. No matter how much the President asks us to panic, we must remember where such panic has gotten us in the past. Every one of those situations has turned out to be a huge mistake, and so far, irreversible.

I don't know what needs to be done. I am the farthest thing from an expert on the economy. I do know, though, that when some guy on an infomercial screams, "Hurry! Act now!
Don't wait! Limited time offer!", I know better than to pick up the phone and give them my credit card number.

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